Archive for ‘Cabernet’

November 21, 2011

Châteaux de la Cour d’Argent 2005

From the cellar: Remember in 2008 when the 2005 Bordeaux was released as the best release in decades and hordes showed up at BC Liquor to max out our credit cards?  Fast forward to the 2009 release billed as the best release in decades and…  Oh wait, do I smell a bit of marketing politics or the incessant need to get excited about wine in a world with so much wine it’s hard to get excited?  I am certainly not anti-Bordeaux, I’ve got a wine fridge filled with the crap, it’s just that, a bit like those “For Your Consideration” pre-Oscar ads, there seems to be more hoopla than substance.  So, today, a simple inexpensive 05 Bordeaux.

Cab Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Merlot.  Mostly merlot.  OK.  You’ve read enough.  A lesser known Bordeaux in keeping with an ongoing blog theme of quality for a decent price in an over-priced government-controlled wine market.  (If there’s one place I’d love to see Tea Party momentum, it’s govt control of vino, but that’s never gonna happen in BC…)  The de la Cour D’Argent is dark and complex but not overwhelming or intriguing.  Weird oxymoronic Bordeaux.  On the one hand, it’s the antithesis of everyday, approachable CA and OZ reds, what we’ve become accustomed to with the prevalence of the point system (which, ultimately, results in a tiny percentage of individuals setting taste standards for millions).  This is highly nuanced on the finish with some hot pepper and smokiness that’s desirable but not dramatic.  It seemed lacking in “elan” or “joie de vivre” or whatever the con-no-sirs say.  If I could be so ridiculous as to call it contemplative, and you would read that with a straight face, and then if we would both indulge in a long conversation about what we’ve come to accept as blended red and expectations and the international wine market with references to Mondovino, then the whole point of this blog being about good wine and everyday tastes would be for nought.

Price: $19 in 2008 with 88 points from the Wine Spectator.  Should I factor in the wine cellar space and electricity bill for the last three years?

Market Liquidity: Only bought one bottle, so nothing lost, nothing gained.

October 4, 2011

Sandhill Small Lots Cabernet Syrah 2007

Not the bottle we drank...

I love the Sandhill Small Lots wines.  I hate the cost of Sandhill Small Lots wines (most $30 or more).  I am therefore torn: There’s good wine for less but there’s worse wine for more.  When it comes to BC reds, there is, too, a lot of pomp, posturing and pretense.  Not with the SSL wines; they stand to be judged without the conceit that somehow, by dint of being local, we should give them a break.

Although my favorite is the Barbera, the Cabernet Sauvignon Syrah blend is a beautiful bottle.  I call the Cab/Syrah blend their “Breck” red: It’s full bodied with no loose ends.  But it’s also a touch of Apocalypse Now, deep, dark, mysterious.  Pepper, leather, vanilla.  “Raid the spice cabinet” said one sipper.  All that said, no one got the “fruitcake” or the “chocolate finish” the vintner had put on the label as a guide; that did (to us) seem pompous.  That is because we are no con-no-sirs, uncouth and unskilled!  No matter.  If you’ve got cash burning a hole in your pocket, this is spectacular with meatballs.  We recommend pork and beef.

Price: $30 at Village VQA.

Market Liquidity: A great blend that is overpriced.

September 30, 2011

Hickinbotham Shiraz Cabernet: Superb

Hey, at 2.67 cents a mil you really can’t do better in this over-taxed wine market.  It’s a 91-pointer from Robert Parker so you know exactly what you will get before you cork (unscrew) it: There will be some big jammy fruit with a lingering oaky finish.  This does not disappoint in any respect.  Rather than lay it on thick I will simply say buy it by the case, lie a few down if you can!  Parker claims it will drink well until 2016 (good luck with that).  We bought a bottle, then a few more.  I think I was the only one buying it.  We took a few bottles for housewarming gifts.  This is the sort of wine that on the second sip people go, even people who don’t drink much wine, go “this is a really good wine.”  If there’s a fault it is perhaps too approachable.  But it has that smooth deep Australian je ne sais quoi which makes it tops.  Writing plaudits about this wine is a bit like blogging about a favorite restaurant: Its days may be numbered.  So it goes.

Price: $19.99 at BC liquor stores.

Market Liquidity: Buy lots.  Lots and lots. Quick.  Before Gismondi raves about it and it disappears and comes back at $23.99!